The Herald Bulletin

January 2, 2013

Winter market gives fresh food lovers plenty of options

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Traditional farmers markets wrap up at the end of fall. Some local vendors were interested in keeping the event going year round.

Patrons also wanted the option to get homemade goods in the winter months, said Jeanette Isbell, who helps organize a local winter market.

The solution was Smith Family Farm’s winter market, now in its third year. The market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. the second Thursday of every month and features 10 to 15 different local vendors offering winter produce, cider, soap, freezer beef and pork, baked goods, jams and jellies, local honey, pasta and other items.

“The more you buy locally the better off everyone is going to be,” said Isbell. “You know where the products come from and that they haven’t been on a semi truck traveling across the U.S. And things like this support local people.”

She pointed out that another reason for the market is to keep local customers and vendors involved in the farmers market year round.

“We want people to know we have all these wonderful things that can be offered locally all year long,” Isbell said.

The market is indoors at Smith Family Farm’s heated barn.

Nina Manifold of Pendleton has sold jams and jellies from produce she grows at both Pendleton’s traditional farmer’s market and the winter market.

“I love producing things myself and having fresh items to offer to the public,” she said. “People like having local, fresh things available even during the winter. This is a great opportunity for them to do that.”

And Manifold pointed out that there are many items that are available during winter market like baked goods and honey that aren’t as readily available during the summer farmers’ market.

The Smith Family’s grass-raised, hormone-free beef and pork is sold as well as winter produce items. Fresh produce still available at the winter market include winter squash and apples.

Other winter produce — many available at the beginning of winter or early spring — include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, citrus fruits, celery, kale, kiwis, potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips. Isbell said.

Isbell’s favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash — her choice of the winter squashes — is by slicing the squash lengthwise and placing it in shallow-dish with a small amount of water (meat side down) and bake on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. When you scoop the squash out it comes out like spaghetti noodles and can be served with tomato sauce or seasoned with butter, salt and pepper.

She recommended searching the Internet for different recipes using winter vegetables.

Two Peas and Their Pod — a food website and blog about a couple’s “culinary adventures” — has countless simple recipes using fresh ingredients, including several of the winter produce items.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.